Determining Financial Need

Most financial aid at Wake Forest is based on a family’s demonstrated financial need. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, Wake Forest considers undergraduate students to be dependent on their parents. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and CSS Profile® help determine financial aid eligibility.

What is the FAFSA®?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) determines eligibility for federal aid programs. Our FAFSA® school code is 002978.

The FAFSA® for both the current 2023-24 academic year and the upcoming 2024-25 academic year are available now.

FAFSA is a registered trademark of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education.

What is the CSS Profile®?

The CSS Profile® is used by colleges and scholarship programs to award Institutional (their own) aid. Our CSS Profile® school code is 5885.

The CSS Profile® for both the current 2023-24 academic year and the upcoming 2024-25 academic year are available now.

CSS Profile is a registered trademark of College Board.

If a student’s parents are divorced or separated, both parents (and their spouses, if applicable) must provide information through the CSS Profile® application process.

You may use Wake Forest’s Net Price Calculator to obtain an estimate of your eligibility for financial aid. If your family finances are more complex, the estimate may be less accurate, and you may find it helpful to contact Student Financial Aid.

Students must reapply for financial aid each year. Changes in a family’s financial circumstances (such as a fewer children in undergraduate college) may significantly affect financial aid eligibility in subsequent years. Students are not required to accept available work-study and loan options in order to receive grants and scholarships.

Families who experience a dramatic change in financial circumstances may submit a written letter of appeal with a detailed explanation and supporting documentation.

Visit Determining Need FAQ for more information, and reach out to us with any other questions.

How to Apply for Need-Based Aid

Early Decision I and Early Action applicants who complete their financial aid applications by November 15 should receive an aid notification starting December 15.

Early Decision II Admission applicants who complete their financial aid applications by January 1 should receive an aid notification within three weeks of application completion.

Regular Decision Admission applicants who complete their financial aid applications by January 1 should receive an aid notification in early April, approximately three to four weeks before the May 1 enrollment decision date.

Wake Forest follows the principles and standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative (CCT) to promote transparency, clarity, and understanding around communicating student aid notifications.

Wake Forest does not anticipate changes to its aid notification timelines due to delayed FAFSA® processing by the U.S. Department of Education. Students who complete all financial aid application requirements other than the FAFSA® will receive an aid notification. Aid notifications will include estimated eligibility for federal student aid programs based on CSS Profile® data.

Priority filing dates

Submitting financial aid application materials and supporting documents by the priority filing dates allows time for receipt, processing, and review by the financial aid committee for a timely response to your application. Applications are reviewed in the order received.

Wake Forest is aware that the U.S. Department of Education’s 2024-25 FAFSA® application is experiencing significant system application access and processing delays. If you are unable to meet the priority filing date due to these 2024-25 FAFSA® system issues, please know that your eligibility for aid programs will NOT be reduced if your 2024-25 FAFSA® cannot be submitted by the priority filing date. The U.S. Department of Education started sending small batches of students’ 2024-25 FAFSA® information to colleges starting in mid-March 2024, and it will likely take until late April for the U.S. Department of Education to clear the large backlog of providing students’ 2024-25 FAFSA® information to colleges, and for financial aid software vendors and colleges to load and accurately process students’ 2024-25® FAFSA information.

The priority filing dates to submit the 2024-25 CSS Profile®, FAFSA®, and 2022 federal income tax documents for the 2024-25 academic year are:

Early Decision I, Early Action

November 15

Early Decision II,
Regular Decision

January 1

Continuing Students

March 1

Ready to apply?

First-Year & Transfer Students

Priority filing dates for new students (first-year and transfer applicants).

Continuing Students

Priority filing dates for continuing students.

Supplemental forms

Supplemental forms are sometimes required of need-based aid applicants. Student Financial Aid notifies applicants if any supplemental forms are required. Applicants should not submit any form unless requested to do so.

Applying for Need and Merit-Based Scholarships

Most scholarships (including full-cost scholarships) do not require a separate merit-based scholarship application. Applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships should submit their complete application for undergraduate admission by November 15.


Determining Need

Applying for Aid


Please ask! We are happy to assist you.

Contact Info (Undergraduate)

Visit our Contact page for more contact information.